Amy Rees Anderson

“I want all the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible”

“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled.  I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.”   – Mohandas K. Gandhi

I absolutely enjoy learning about other cultures.  I love learning about different traditions people have, different foods they enjoy, different religions they practice…I love it because it always helps me feel closer to different cultures when I understand their belief systems and I love it because it helps expand my own view of this world we live in.  We often become so trapped in our own little cultural box where we create our little “norm” and we forget that to learn we must step outside of our comfortable little box and venture out to meet new people and learn new things.  Every time we can learn about someone else’s culture our minds expand and our views grow broader and our hearts get bigger.  We gain an appreciation for others that can only come when you are willing to experience a little of their world and what “norm” is for them.

Tonight my family attended the beginning of an elaborate Indian wedding celebration for a very dear friend. I say the beginning because the wedding celebration will take place over several days as is a tradition for Indian weddings.  My daughter and I donned our Indian attire that we were excited to wear because we love all the jeweled gowns and the amazing necklaces and earrings we get to wear when we dress up in India clothing.

amy and ashleyamy and rollinThen we headed off to the home of the bride to be.  Tonight’s event was the Mendhi celebration night where the bride’s hands and feet are drawn on in great detail with henna in beautiful patterns to prepare her for her upcoming wedding day.  All of us women at the party got henna on our hands as well.

mendhi

Looking around at the event tonight I couldn’t help but be taken in by all the gorgeously bright colors of fabrics on all of the guests that are so much the trademark of India attire.  The gowns are beautiful and everything is bedazzled in the most ornate fashion.  I listened as the India music played and we even joined in on the dance floor doing our best to learn some of the Bollywood dances.  It was so much fun to get to be a part of this wonderful celebration and I loved that my two children were able to experience such a rich cultural experience.  I can’t wait for the next few days of activities for this wedding and for all the beautiful clothing and jewelry we get to wear.  This will be my first India wedding to attend every one of the events associated with it so I know I will learn a ton over these next few days.

I think it is so important for all of us to seek out opportunities to participate in the traditions and cultures of other countries.  It is such a wonderful way to teach our families and to expand our views.  We gain a love for other people when we experience their world.  Whether we learn by traveling to these countries, or by reading a book about them, we can always find ways to expand our understanding of the world around us.  My challenge for everyone this weekend is to pick one culture that interests you around the world and learn one new thing about it over the weekend.  Allow the cultures of all lands to be blown freely about your house!

Have an amazing weekend everyone!

~Amy

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